Chambers of Commerce, visitor bureaus and other membership-based organizations need member dues to thrive. To recruit more members and keep the ones you already have, you need to offer perks. One great way to highlight existing members and win new ones is your annual print directory.

Here are a few strategies to consider:

1 | Feature a prominent member on the cover.

If one of your members is a major local employer or a significant supporter of your organization (e.g. via event sponsorships), you may want to consider giving them prime placement on the cover of your directory. The cover photo provides great exposure to the member, especially when paired with an article about the member inside the publication. It also elevates your own brand by showing that you have the support of a major local employer.

2 | Include member Q&As.

Is one of your members expanding to a new location? Adding a service line? Or maybe they have a major anniversary coming up? Those are all good reasons to highlight them with a Q&A in your directory. Nonprofit members also make great Q&A subjects — highlighting them shines a positive light on your community and provides other members with ideas for getting more engaged with local issues.

3 | Share photos of important events.

Show members having fun at networking receptions, or your own staff participating in member events such as ribbon cuttings. Photo collages like this, especially if they’re captioned well, show that your organization is actively engaged with the membership on an ongoing basis.

4 | Feature thought leadership by members.

Another possibility for generating directory content is to have members submit thought leadership — that is, articles about their area of expertise. This is especially helpful if the information the member shares is something that provides a benefit to other members too — for example if the article contains accounting, legal or marketing tips.

5 | Provide options to upgrade member listings.

Do you include member listings in the back of your print publication? If so, consider offering a paid option that will bump certain members to the top of their category or offer other ways to be more visible — for example by having the text of their listing appear in a noticeable color or including the member’s logo with the listing.

Need more ideas for upgrading your print publications and doing more for members? We’re happy to help! Contact us at